The components of my Plan of Study (PoS)—Biocultural Diversity, Indigenous Knowledge and Popular Education—formed an interlocking triad that built the conceptual and methodological structure of my major project. This threefold strategy is represented in this project, which fulfills the objectives of my PoS.
Across Canada there has been movement towards the adoption of principles of collaboration in water governance which should in principle be more supportive of meaningful co-governance roles for Indigenous peoples. While the meaningful engagement and involvement of Indigenous peoples in decision-making has been recognized as a necessary precondition of collaborative water governance, its realization in practice has been limited. By exploring the policy process during the development and implementation of the Great Lakes Protection Act, 2015 in Ontario, this paper explores the strengths and ongoing challenges of engagement processes between First Nations and colonial government in Ontario’s water governance system. Ongoing challenges that are preventing the realization of true co-governance with First Nations in Ontario’s water system are identified, including: capacity challenges, limited recognition of First Nations as rightsholders, challenges with knowledge sharing, limited engagement with First Nations at a strategic level and challenges in developing trusting relationships, amongst others. While there are indications that the relationship between First Nations and colonial governments in Ontario is moving closer towards principles of co-governance, meaningful shared governance will not be achieved without substantial learning for all parties and shifts in power structures.
The components of this portfolio—“Liminal Lines: Poetic Confrontations With Everyday Ableism, Racism, and Rape Culture From the Ledge” — are as follows 1. “Kuzushi”, a chapbook of poems named after the Japanese Judo term meaning to put someone off balance. In the case of this portfolio, kuzushi is used as a metaphor to decentre the oppressive forces of ableism, racism, and rape culture founded on what bell hooks calls “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy”, (personal communication 2016). 2. A talk and performance called ““What’s Wrong With Your Leg?”: Ableism, Community, and Genesis” given at the Generous Space Toronto *TBLGQ Christian Community on November 23 2017 where I ‘came out of the closet’ as a person living with a disability (Osteo-genesis Imperfecta aka brittle bones disease) in response to, and as a deconstruction and decentering of, the ableism and racism in the society and city in which I live: Toronto 3. Two essays a) “Poetry on the Edge” which explores my poetic process as a writer of colour living with a disability in a liminal state b) “Disrupting Disablement: History, Exclusion, Desire and Change” which explores the history of ableism, how it affects me, and what changes I hope comes to be.
“Liminal Lines: A Poetic Confrontation of Ableism, Racism, and Rape Culture from the Ledge” is an invitation: come along this anti-colonial exploration of systems of oppression that invade our society. Practice kuzushi—moving a structure, in this case oppressive structures, off balance—via reading and later meditating. Join the fight against three of many oppressive systems that hold back humanity: ableism, racism, and rape culture.
This paper discusses Intergenerational Love Song: When I say….! You say….!, a project I conceived and carried out in 2017 with four adult band coaches at Girls Rock Camp Toronto. Using song writing as a mode of inquiry, participants were able to reflect on their role as mentors to young people. This project sought to disrupt the ways in which band coaches at Girls Rock Camp think about the collaborative song writing process, the act of teaching and the ways in which listening is crucial to the ways in which we respond. In so doing, this project engages with broader ideas of power, dialogue and the binaries that make their way into discourses on gender and human development. This study is unique in that it brings into conversation musicology, pedagogy and girlhood studies in a grounded project that makes room for listening.
Note: It is recommended to listen to the songs in conversation while reading this project report and specifically during the sections that analyze each song.
Big Beef! Hard Life! https://girlsrocktoronto.bandcamp.com/track/rogue-emotions
(I really love this) Big Beef! Hard Life! https://soundcloud.com/magali-meagher/i-really-love-this-big-beef-hard-life/s-ZOCJ4
This major paper challenges the dominance of celebratory narratives in academic literature that posit Western urban gay enclaves as beacons of social inclusivity and tolerance. This research is intended to address the reality that gay village spaces in North America, Europe and Australia were built exclusively for the benefit of middle class white gay men and continue to exclude women, queers of colour, trans and gender non-conforming individuals. Toronto is used as a case study to demonstrate how modern municipalities have appropriated LGBTQ2I identities in order to market themselves as cosmopolitan urban centres that are worthy of various forms of capital investment. The case study will also elucidate how processes of homonormativity (Duggan, 2002) and homonationalism (Puar, 2007) have been accelerated by municipal investment in gay village spaces. Three central questions guide the analysis of this case study: (1) How do cities appropriate LGBTQ2I identities to present themselves as cosmopolitan urban centres? (2) In what ways does the image of state-sponsored LGBTQ2I spaces work to exclude non-homonormative queers? (3) How can cities plan differently for the future?
This research looks at Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) and evaluates the outcomes of this program. HELP is a pilot municipal program that offers a low interest loan to homeowners who are willing to undertake energy efficiency improvements. This program is unique in Toronto in that it is the first and only program that finances energy efficiency through the local improvement charges and allows repaying the loan through an additional charge on the property tax bill. This research aims to evaluate the HELP program in terms of its energy saving and GHG reduction achievements and examines the role of the program in bridging the so-called energy efficiency gap. To get a better and more accurate understanding of the program’s performance, two other energy efficiency programs, namely R.E.E.P and Enbridge HEC were introduced and compared with HELP. More specifically, the paper conducts: An impact evaluation, in which the program is evaluated in terms of its natural gas saving, electricity saving, GHG reduction, number of improvements, and Enbridge scores increase. An efficiency evaluation, in which a cost-benefit analysis is conducted and the specific NPV, IRR, ROI, total costs, and total benefits of 31 of the HELP projects are calculated. The efficiency evaluation examines the cost-effectiveness of investing in energy efficiency retrofitting through HELP from the homeowners’ point of view. The impact evaluation shows that the HELP program wasn’t able to encourage homeowners to undertake deeper energy efficiency improvements. It also indicates no significant energy saving and GHG reduction achievements for the program, when compared to the other introduced programs. The efficiency evaluation conducted in this research proves that around 71% of the HELP projects were considered cost-effective from the homeowners’ perspective, but had long payback periods. The research finally acknowledges the role of HELP in bridging the barrier of high upfront costs by assisting homeowners who were initially interested in investing in energy efficiency retrofitting. However, the study found no evidence that HELP played a role in promoting energy efficiency retrofitting as a pro-environmental behaviour among homeowners who wouldn’t consider energy retrofitting without the assistance of HELP.efficiency improvements.
This paper explores the relationship between community members and planners in Toronto as notions of “good planning” are formed, and how a prevailing interpretation of “good planning” that is born from this relationship shapes Toronto’s urban landscape. The redevelopment of Toronto’s West Queen West Triangle (WQWT) from 2005-2008, with special attention to the efforts of the community organization Active 18, is used as a case study to explore how good planning principles are differentially informed by knowledge from community members relative to professional or expert knowledge. Two main questions guide the analysis of this case study: (1) How did the efforts of Active 18 help define and interpret “good planning” policy, and (2) how do the material impacts of their efforts fulfill the expectations of “good planning” as set out during the WQWT’s redevelopment between 2005-2008?
Over the last thirty years, Terror Management Theory (TMT) has become an established explanatory tool in social psychology, producing an impressive body of research that illuminates the insidious but significant role the awareness of death plays in the daily affairs of human life. Inspired by the work of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, TMT proposes that existential anxiety is mitigated and managed by cultural worldviews, i.e. humanly constructed meaning systems that provide purpose and permanence and offer a sense of value through the mechanism of self-esteem. An empirical framework generating nearly 500 experiments by researchers working in twenty countries, TMT has revealed the profound influence of death awareness on human behaviour in a great many social and societal contexts. This paper explores and summarizes the major contributions to TMT research as well as the theory’s critiques, and investigates the existential psychodynamic processes inherent within human-nature relations and economic behaviour and their implications for the impending climate crisis. Research conducted to assess the validity of TMT has traditionally been guided by the following premises: reminders of mortality should intensify the need to maintain one’s worldview and self-esteem, while augmenting or threatening aspects of culturally valued beliefs and behaviours should respectively reduce or encourage the existential anxiety cultural worldviews are constructed to mitigate. Behaviours including driving, voting, tanning, and eating, and cultural allegiances including race, religion, gender, nationality, and political affiliation have been influenced by intimations of mortality in TMT experimentation. A vibrant discourse outside TMT literature maintains a strong scepticism towards some of the theory’s major tenets and assumptions. Criticisms discussed in this paper include: inconsistencies with contemporary evolutionary biology; the adaptive capacity of a psychological system that reduces anxiety; the conflicting standards of behaviour that alleviate existential anxiety; and TMT’s anthropocentric, reductionist view of the planet’s creative and integrated life system. An alternative account of TMT research is provided through the findings of Coalitional Psychology, and responses to these criticisms and alternate explanations are offered by TMT experimenters. In light of these criticisms, this paper reviews the empirical findings for two contemporary applications of TMT: human-nature relations (i.e., attitudes towards nature and animals; perceptions of the mind and physical body), and economic behaviour (i.e., money, materialism, branding, charitable behaviour, and progress). These two concepts were chosen due to their foundational role in a peaceful and prosperous existence for humankind on planet earth. TMT’s empirical findings show that the existential foundations of Western culture are founded upon the separation from and superiority over the rest of nature - an outlook that demonstrably impacts the female gender to a greater extent since females have historically been viewed as ruled by their bodies and thus closer to nature and the status of other animals. A supposition is thus put forward that capitalism, an ecologically defiant economic system fundamentally predicated upon the exploitation of both nature and women, is a manifestation of the Western paradigm’s attempt to abolish death. Limitations of TMT experimentation, opportunities for further research, and concluding remarks are provided.
The marine environment has historically played a significant role in sustaining coastal economies, with 44% of the global population living within 150km of the coast. Projections of exponential population growth and an increase in living standards in the near future suggest that economic activity linked to the marine environment will grow, thereby giving rise to an increase in marine spatial usage in finite marine space. This materialization can exacerbate user – user conflicts, while placing further stress on the ecological functions of the marine environment, thereby contributing to enhance user – environment conflict. In order to solve such dilemmas, coastal nations have advocated for the implementation of marine spatial planning (MSP). A narrative running in parallel with MSP is that of climate change as a product of the excessive combustion of fossil fuels for purposes of energy provision. This climate change dilemma has prompted politicians around the world to advocate for the implementation of renewable energy systems. For geographical areas with high tidal current velocities, tidal current turbines (TCTs) offer a way to meet renewable energy capacity and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions targets. However, TCTs become another player operating within a finite and already stressed marine environment. Therefore, Scotland, whose marine environment hosts an abundance of tidal current resources, has become the first and only nation to construct and implement a sectoral marine plan for tidal energy (SMPTE) in order to facilitate the commercial-scale development of TCTs to meet national renewable energy deployment and GHG emissions reductions targets while accounting for potential industry and environmental conflicts. Nova Scotia is another geographical area with similar tidal resource potential. However, a plethora of factors have seemed to inhibit the deployment of TCTs in provincial waters. While Nova Scotia demonstrates a substantial industry cluster, capacity building, and supply chain, the province lacks a comprehensive MSP to manage uses of the marine environment in conjunction with TCT deployment. This paper constructs a draft SMPTE for Nova Scotia. The paper overviews the operation and timeline of tidal energy development internationally and compares it to the Nova Scotia context. Due to the complexities associated with the multiplicity of federal and provincial governmental departments delegated with legislative jurisdiction over various aspects of the marine environment, an analysis of legislation and policies is undertaken in conjunction with best practices in Europe in order to establish jurisdictional boundaries and authorities in relation to the proposed SMPTE. The SMPTE process and outputs are then detailed and a map of suitable plan option areas that take into consideration ecological, technological, social, cultural, political, and economic factors is presented and compared to the marine renewable-energy areas legislated under the Marine Renewable-energy Act 2015. A quality management review of the SMPTE is undertaken in relation to the ICES Marine Spatial Planning Quality Management System and compared against the quality management review undertaken for Scotland’s SMPTE. Research and data gaps are identified and key recommendations are made for the province of Nova Scotia and its tidal energy industry.
The goal of this major paper is to determine whether Toronto’s soil remediation, transport and redevelopment regime is sustainable – or whether unforeseen and dispersed factors will someday combine to form a disaster for the city’s urban environment. In order to address this question, the paper first examines a history of the city’s brownfields: In Toronto, brownfields are broadly known as vacant or underused properties that may have been contaminated by past land use, but which show potential for redevelopment. They are also major producers of both contaminated and clean fill, and the paper examines the policies which have shaped their definition, usage, and disposal. Following an examination of the state of the art in brownfield sciences in Ontario, Canada, and globally, the focus turns to the study of disasters. Taking cues from Barry Turner’s seminal book in disaster studies Man-Made Disasters, a disaster is “an event, concentrated in time and space, which threatens a society or a relatively self-sufficient subdivision of a society with major unwanted consequences as a result of the collapse of precautions that had hitherto been culturally accepted as adequate.” A situation in which construction-related soil stockpiles are depleted to the point that cost-effectiveness of importation comes into question, or in which rising prices cause an exodus of Toronto’s building potential, can therefore be rightly termed disasters. The MP describes a generalized framework to identify disasters and the period of incubation that takes place beforehand. The heart of the MP is a collation of Records of Site Condition taken from the Ministry Of The Environment And Climate Change database over the thirteen years of its existence. RSCs provides protection for the land owner from regulatory orders and liability, but also include data on soil imported and exported from the property, and are currently one of the only accessible means by which to track soil movement in Toronto. Gathering hundreds of records, the MP proceeds to extract trends from the data over time. To wit, soil exportation has risen dramatically, soil importation and in-situ remediation has fallen, and site risk assessment (a technique allowing buried contaminants to be written off and remain onsite) has risen to compensate. Interviews of industry professionals from a variety of backgrounds were performed to glean their response to the information gathered above. The overall consensus from these interviews was a lack of surprise in the results displayed and a lack of concern regarding Toronto’s so-called incubation period. When the results of the above sections and the interviews were slotted into the framework, that too confirmed that Toronto’s soil regime is sustainable for the foreseeable future. However, it also brought to light other weaknesses in the regime, such as a lack of a soil tracking system for soils in Toronto save for a limited provision in the RSC program. The paper concludes by describing upcoming policy instruments due to be employed in the near future by the provincial government and notfor-profit actors, which will serve to further strengthen the system.